University of Windsor focusing on building relationships in 2022

Photo courtesy of the University of Windsor.

University of Windsor President Robert Gordon says 2022 is the year the university puts in the work to improve diversity and inclusivity on campus.

“2021 was certainly a year when many showed the courage to speak up and speak out and push to be better as a university. It was a period where we began to face up to the work that needs to be done in order for our campus to become the inclusive, safe, just, and welcoming space that everyone in our community needs it to be,” said Gordon.

During his yearly address on the state of the university, Gordon made a commitment that this will be the year the university addresses the challenges many have been pointing out for decades.

“We mean to do better this time and we have begun to do the work that is necessary. I believe that living up to this commitment and the change and learning it requires will become something that we can all be proud of,” said Gordon.

The Anti-Black Racism Task Force was established in the fall of 2020 and its final report that identified priorities for change on campus was submitted in December 2021. An action plan based on this report is under development and implementation will be launched in February.

Gordon said the year ahead will be focused on relationship building, establishing trust, confidence, and accountability with everyone on campus.

In addition to commitments to improving diversity and equity on campus, Gordon spoke about rebuilding campus life after the pandemic while keeping in mind safety and mental health.

“The safety procedures that protect us are multi-layered and integrated and making them work takes an enormous and coordinated effort,” said Gordon.

He said while many are looking forward to returning to campus, they have learned many important lessons on accessibility through the delivery of online courses. Gordon said many of those lessons will be incorporated into classes going forward.

The university is currently in the process of developing its next five-year strategic plan. Public consultations are now underway. A  plan will be developed throughout the spring and summer with the final approval planned for the fall.

“I do think the next decade will be focused on supporting our people, we will continue to place priorities on impactful infrastructure but we will have to do it through partnerships, through strong engagement and through leveraging relationships,” said Gordon. “Right now we are building a much better strategic framework for how we think about master planning for the years to come.”

To participate in the strategic plan development visit the university’s website Aspire: Together for Tomorrow.